International Committee of the Red Cross to open office in Kazakhstan

ASTANA – The Mazhilis (lower house of Parliament) approved in an Oct. 3 plenary meeting an agreement for the International Committee of the Red Cross to open an office in Kazakhstan.

The agreement was first reached in 2011 and defines Red Cross operations in the country.

“The agreement covers privileges and immunities for the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Kazakhstan that are essential for the implementation of the work in Kazakhstan in accordance with its mandate. The mandate is aimed at protection of life and merits of war victims, help to ill, injured, harmed in a result of emergency situations and armed conflicts, and also to spread fundamental principles of international humanitarian law, recovery of family connections, assistance in regulation of international humanitarian help to the victims of emergency situations,” said Kazakh Minister of Foreign Affairs Kairat Abdrakhmanov at the recent plenary session.

“The adoption of the agreement will contribute to the implementation of the initiative of the head of state to create a hub of multilateral diplomacy for a more effective solution of humanitarian tasks in Kazakhstan and the region. The law will not require additional funds from the budget, nor will it entail negative, social, economic and environmental consequences,” said the minister.

After ratification of the agreement, the Red Cross Committee will be able to allocate its funds in the banks of Kazakhstan and work in accordance with the national legislation of the country.

The International Committee of the Red Cross is a part of the international movement of the Red Cross and Red Crescent, which also consists of national societies and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. In Kazakhstan, the national Red Cross and Crescent society has been operating since 1992.

The agreement now needs to also get the approval of the Senate of Parliament of Kazakhstan and to be signed by President Nursultan Nazarbayev before the ratification becomes complete.